Which 2 seater soft top would you pick?

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With a budget of £18k which soft top 2 seater would you pick? The car must be fast, must handle well but it must also be a competent cruiser - comfortable sitting on the motortway at 80 for a few hours. The more toys available the better! The car won't be used on tracks or driven hard all the time so a super lightweight, hardcore racer is not suitable (e.g. Elise, VX220 etc...)

A few that have sprung to mind are:

BMW Z4 3.0 - Can get an '03 model with all the kit for this budget.

Porsche Boxster 2.7 - There seem to be quite a lot of 2.7's to choose from so a good example is easily got within budget.

Nissan 350Z - Might be pushing it for £18k, they seem to be £20k+.



Given the budget what would you pick? Any other suggestions apart from the ones already mentioned?

Ta :)
 
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Thanks for the opinions so far :)
I've been a passenger in an Elise and an S2000. Neither appealed much for a variety of reasons. The Elise was a bit too hardcore and the S2000 needed the **** thrashing off it to make decent progress. Bother lovely and capable cars but not really suitable for the driving that will be done.
I'll not be changing my car for another 6 months - 1 year so I'm just getting ideas at the minute. I don't know whether to throw caution to the wind and get a 2 seater while I'm young and without any ties, or to get something more sensible like a 330Ci. My current car will be paid off in a few months and I fancy treating myself to something silly while I still can.

The Z4 was my favourite as I haven't really spotted a lot about. I love the styling too. The Boxster seems to be the better car all round but is a bit more common. A test drive is in order for both methinks :)

Any other suggestions?
 
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[TW]Fox said:
I do love it when people consider 231bhp, 0-60 in 5.9 second, 155mph BMW's as 'sensible' :D

A Focus Diesel is sensible, a RWD Straight Six Coupe is.. less sensible :D


It's my mid-mid-life crisis, anything with 4 seats and a boot is sensible :p
I'm going to be brutally honest. I want a capable car but another reason for wanting something silly is for posing and showing off. Yes, it's shallow, but you're only young once! ;)
 
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richolmes72 said:
Let me join in!

Jag, Jag, Jag...

Seriously though, you could get a 1999 (maybe 2000) XJR convertible for your budget.

With 370bhp from a 4.0 litre supercharged V8, it does the 0-60 in 5.3 seconds, even with an automatic box.

Not even the 3.2 boxster with a manual box can beat that.

Go out and try out as many cars as you can though.

Out of the cars you originally listed, the Z4 interests me the most though, i agree with most of the other posters that a 350z, elise, and S2000 just aren't special enough when looking at other cars that you could get for the money.

As much as I love the look of those specs, the bit of my brain that still has an ounce of sense left is screaming "Running costs!" at me. I don't think I could afford to run something with a 4.8 supercharged V8. Since I'll still be 21 if and when I change cars I can see insurance being a problem too. I've been doing a bit of calculator work and things will be tight enough with the cars I've mentioned. Insurance, fuel economy, service costs and general maintenance have all been taken account of and I just might be able to run something like the XJR but if something major went wrong with it I'd be screwed :(

With regards to the Boxster being the 'Poor mans Porsche', I wouldn't be buying the Boxster for the badge. When I buy a new car it will be for its performance in all areas as I happen to like the looks of all that have been mentioned. I still have some maths to do as the Boxster will probably be the most expensive to run with regards to insurace and servicing.


Thanks for the replies, it's given me plenty to think about. I'll have to make some appointments for test drives :)
 
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S2000 - The driving style required just doesn't suit mine. I like to be able to make good progress in a lazy fashion. I don't want to have to rev the **** off the car to get anywhere. It also doesn't feel as 'special' as the others for some reason.

BMW Z3M - I'm afraid the looks do absolutely nothing for me. Whilst it may be a great car it would be almost impossible to insure and if I was going to get a BMW it would be the Z4 over the Z3 any day.

At the minute my favourites are the Boxster and the Z4. I love both for different reasons. The looks of the Z4 really do it for me whereas the performance and the badge of the Porsche interest me too.

Has anyone an idea of what I'd be looking at paying for servicing on a Boxster at an independent specialist? The Porsche badge makes me think a standard service will be £500+ which is a major factor when choosing. I'm assuming the servicing on the Z4 will be cheaper than the Boxster?
 
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